Now that our Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up, we're starting to offer our Spring-Summer 2014 books as plain old regular pre-orders. Our first batch is listed below, and more will become available as they're built into our bookkeeping system (which can be an irregular process). We've also set up a few discounted gift sets to help you save some bucks while building your collection. Be among the first to reserve your copies — hit those links to learn more about each title and start building your shopping cart!
80-page two-color 6" x 9" hardcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-746-8
The precocious sock monkey Uncle Gabby, his innocent pal Mr. Crow, and their tiny doll-friend, Inches, are the heroes of this funny, unsettling, and all-new Sock Monkey storybook. Convinced that their human, Ann-Louise, has been kidnapped by a vicious monster dubbed the Amarok, our heroes bravely venture into the Haunted Woods to rescue her. The epic quest that follows takes them by sea, land, and air through many fantastic lands and introduces a cast of fanciful characters and creatures including the Trumbernick (the pixie shaman of the forest), a giant sea monster, the Guardsmen of Bear Town, and a flock of flying harpies. Beloved by adults and children, Sock Monkey hearkens back to all-ages fantasy-adventure such as The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland.
360-page black & white (with spot color) 8.25" x 6.5" softcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-763-5
The bestselling, award-winning, critically acclaimed series that sparked a renaissance for fans of classic comic strips upon its debut in 2004 is now in softcover! This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, features hundreds of strips rarely reprinted before this series. Three major cast members — Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus — initially show up as infants and only “grow” into their final “mature” selves as the months go by. Even Snoopy debuts as a puppy! The Complete Peanuts offers a unique chance to see a master of the art form refine his skills and solidify his universe, day by day. This volume is rounded out with Garrison Keillor’s introduction, a biographical essay by David Michaelis (Schulz and Peanuts) and an in-depth interview with Schulz conducted in 1987 by Gary Groth and Rick Marschall.
It was one thing to read Sunday color Peanuts comic strips from 1952 to 1955 at the rate of one per week, when they came out — and not only because they would have wound up in the trash like the rest of the Sunday paper, long before my brothers and I went to sleep that night. And it's quite another thing to read them all today, piled together in the present volume, one after the other, seven or eight panels at a time, as if they're the successive chapters of an ongoing serial — or maybe just the latest portions of an endless white picket fence that stretches towards some version of infinity or eternity (or at least roughly half a century of dependable continuity, in any case).
If you run over to our Kickstarter page, you'll find a few new -- and good -- premiums.
1. Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden will collaborate on a drawing, and they will do this exactly five times before collapsing in exhaustion (the drawings will be that good). Plus, they'll throw in an original, 10" x 17" vintage syndicate proof for a week of 1960s Nancy dailies! This is the promotional part of the pitch because it primes the pump for their groundbreaking 200+ page analysis and historical monograph of Nancy, How to Read Nancy, coming up in our Fall 2014 season. All this for a mere $250 beans.
2. Do you like Peanuts? Well, of course you like Peanuts, and, if you're the kind of right-thinking comics fan I know you are you adore Charles Schulz for all the right reasons. We're offering a print of the last Sunday Peanuts strip he drew, which ran on February 14, 2000 (literally the day after he died). This is his farewell strip because he knew he couldn't carry it on, and certainly one of the most moving strips ever drawn. It even comes framed. $100.
3. As you may know, we have embarked on another classic comics reprint series: Don Rosa's complete Duck run. The first volume comes out in June, titled Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun. We have offered signed copies of the book, but Don has now offered to do a full-color sketch in your copy of a character of your choice. And that for $500.
There will be some amazing works of art for sale later this week. Stay tuned.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
"They say the story of Jesus is the greatest ever told, but JC didn't steal a DJ mixer during the New York Blackout of '77 or bomb a subway car with Fab 5 Freddy. With his 'Hip Hop Family Tree,' comics artist Ed Piskor delves into the history of hip-hop and gets straight-up biblical, penning a 'who-begat-whom' with a b-boy twist." - Jonathan Zwickel, MTV.com
"His classic indie comic composition and narrative ease make the strip readable, informative (who knew Rammelzee went tagging with Basquiat?), and respectful to the art forms and artists it covers." -J.P. McNamara, Demencha
This glorious compilation of Peanuts Every Sunday is the debut volume that collects, for the first time ever, all the Peanuts strips that ran in everyone’s newspaper on Sundays — each comic strip reproduced in vibrant, warm full color! In this luxurious hardcover reprinting the years 1952 through 1955, Charles Schulz introduces Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus to his archetypal Peanuts cast of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." — Bill Clinton
64-page two-color 5.5" x 5.5" hardcover • $9.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-725-3
Charlie Brown may not be the best pitcher, batter, or team manager, but his love for the game is boundless, no matter how many home runs he gives up, how many games he loses, how many errors his team makes, or how many times the game is rained out. Presented in the same format as Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking, this delightful gift book features three complete baseball stories starring good ol’ Charlie Brown and his frustrating (and frustrated) teammates Lucy, Linus, Pigpen, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. Whether it’s at home or on the road, on the mound or off the field, Charlie Brown gives it his all in these funny, touching testaments to his indefatigable spirit.
"Schulz was truly one of the game’s great ambassadors." – Former National Baseball Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey
344-page black & white 8.5" x 7" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-726-0
Peanuts enters its final decade, and The Complete Peanuts enters its homestretch, with material that is perhaps the most overlooked of Schulz’s career and soon to be reconsidered by scholars with this volume. Schulz’s cartooning has never looked more confident, and his sense of humor never more unrestrained. This is the 21st volume (of 25) of the perennial, bestselling series that collects every single one of the 18,000-plus Peanuts strips created by Charles M. Schulz, from its debut in 1950 to the end in 2000.
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." — Bill Clinton
"Charles Schulz was an innovative genius of American comics and also the marathon man, drawing strip after four-panel strip, batch after batch, writing the storyboards for the TV specials, year after year, creating a fantasy world that connected to kids as well as adults and all based on powerful iconic characters who express deep feelings of loneliness and resentment and despair. The feeling that everything is against us. The craving for love. An enormous earnestness about doing the right thing. There is not much in Peanuts that is shallow or heedless." — Garrison Keillor
"His drawings were but scribbles, a few lines scarcely more elaborated than children’s stick figures, but his genius was such that with those short few lines he created a panorama of life's experiences as are suffered, or enjoyed, or tolerated by the inhabitants of a cartoon village." — Walter Cronkite
Since their original publication, Peanuts Sundays have almost always been collected and reprinted in black and white, and generations of Peanuts fans have grown up enjoying this iteration of these strips. But many who read Peanuts in their original Sunday papers remain fond of the striking coloring, which makes for a surprisingly different reading experience.
It is for these fans (and for Peanuts fans in general who want to experience this alternate/original version) that we now present a series of larger, Sundays-only Peanuts reprints, which more closely duplicate that delightful, Sunday-morning reading experience and brings a splash of real color to Schulz's cast of colorful characters. Designed as a series of ten massive coffee-table quality books, each one containing a half-decade’s worth of Sunday strips, Peanuts Every Sunday will be a proud addition to any Peanuts fan's bookshelf.
As with most strips, Peanuts showed by far the quickest and richest development in its first decade, and Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955, by compiling every strip from the first four years, offers a fascinating peek at Schulz's evolving creative process. Not only does the graphic side of the strips change drastically, from the strip's initial stiff, ultra-simple stylizations through a period of uncommonly lush, almost Pogo-ishly detailed drawings to something close to the final, elegant Peanuts style we’ve all come to know and love, but several main characters are gradually introduced — oddly enough, usually as infants who would then grow up to full, articulate Peanut-hood! — and then refined: Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus (Sally will make her very first appearance as a baby in our next volume.)
Following in the footsteps of Fantagraphics' acclaimed presentation of the Carl Barks material in Walt Disney's Donald Duck, Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955 has been scrupulously re-colored to match the original syndicate coloring (including some unusual colors for Charlie Brown's trademark zig-zag shirt, before it was officially yellow), and is being printed using the same process of "mellowing" out of tones to avoid the sharp colors that sometimes mar reprints of syndicated strips — allowing readers once again to plunge back into Charles Schulz's marvelous world.
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives," The A.V. Club
"Charles Schulz was an American treasure — an artist, philosopher, and keen observer of human life." – Bill Clinton
"The Complete Peanuts confronts us afresh with what a brilliant, truly modern and totally weird idea it was to create a comic strip about a chronically depressed child..." – TIME
"Fantagraphics has won numerous awards for this series and they deserve them all for creating such a wonderful archive of this American treasure. This series is a must have for any Peanuts fan and can be enjoyed by the whole family. I wouldn't miss a volume." – The Christian Science Monitor
"Fantagraphics' heroic project (designed with subtle, quiet beauty by the caroonist called Seth) enables us to glimpse the moment when 'good ol' Charlie Brown' could say with frowning vehemence, 'The rest of this day can’t possibly hold any good for me!'... [Grade:] A” – Entertainment Weekly